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Find out why Scouts carry out an annual census and what support is available to help complete it

Why we have a census

Scouts carry out an annual census to create a detailed picture of the young people and adults that make up our membership. Knowing who our members are helps to better inform and deliver the support and services provided to meet the needs of our members.

The census figures also provide information regarding the payment of the national membership fee for youth members and associated levies at various levels of the movement.

Getting more help with the census

We are writing a guide for each of the main census return types and have also updating our FAQs this will all be available early in November.

You get assistance from the Scout Support Centre by email or you could try Live Chat which can be found on our website.

Getting started with the census

If you've never done the census before or want to prepare for it, we suggest you look through the return guides that will be available in early November.

Census 2024

The next census will take place on in January 2024 and follow the timeline below:

  • Between 6th and 13th December- Census passwords sent out
  • 20th December - Census opens
  • 14th January - Census approvals open
  • 14th February - Census closes all returns must be complete and approved

Please note that local Scouting will have its own deadlines for census to ensure all returns are approved locally ahead of the census closing on the 14th February. Please check local deadlines with your relevant District or County commissioner.


Regular questions that pop up about the census systems, and why we ask some of the questions that we do.

Arriving in early November

Approving the census

Read through our guide for approvers to learn more about approving census returns.

Arriving in early November

Tools to support the census

Read through our return guides, and access all the tools you need to gather the information to complete the census from parents, volunteers and young people.

Arriving in early November